Step-by-Step Filing of an Electronic FDC on eBenefits


Step-By-Step Filing of an Online
Fully Developed Claim for Disability Compensation Today, you expect to be able to do things
online. You bank, pay bills and shop online. Now VA allows Veterans to file an electronic claim, or eClaim,
for disability compensation online through the joint
VA/DoD eBenefits portal. Do you know that when you choose to work closely with a VSO and
file an electronic disability compensation claim on eBenefits you can
file it as a Fully Developed Claim, also known as an FDC? The FDC Program is a voluntary program that allows you to submit all evidence and medical records at the same time you submit your claim. By doing this and certifying that you have no further evidence to submit, VA can process your claim quicker and make a faster decision. Why choose to do an electronic FDC? It helps you take charge
of your claim by providing all the evidence at once. You can take advantage of a shortened web-based application
process that reduces paperwork and allows for quicker claims processing than traditional claims. There’s no risk to filing an FDC. If your claim does not
qualify for FDC, it will still be processed traditionally. You have one full year to complete the application process,
and if your claim is approved, you could be paid back to the
day your claim was initiated. It decreases the amount of time VA spends developing your claim, and Contributes to reducing the claims backlog
and claims processing timeframes. In this video you will learn the step-by-step process for
filing an electronic Fully Developed Claim for disability
compensation on eBenefits. There are nine basic steps to filing an FDC through eBenefits. Step One: Log In To eBenefits To begin filing your electronic FDC for disability
compensation, go to eBenefits.va.gov. Click the “Login” button in the
top right-hand corner. If you do not have an eBenefits account, click “Register” and
follow the step-by-step instructions to set up your account. You can also visit VBA’s Media & Publications
Page to view our “How to Get a DS Logon” video. Once you are logged in, click “Apply for Benefits.” Step Two: Choose a VSO VA strongly recommends that you go to the “Request for Representative” section to appoint an accredited Veterans
Service Officer, or VSO, as your Power of Attorney before
proceeding with your claims application. VSOs are no-cost advocates that will help you collect
the required documents and evidence needed to submit your
claim as well as assist you with all of your other claims needs. Remember, merely selecting a VSO is not the same
as working closely with one. You should be sure to
contact the VSO you selected through eBenefits. Select “Recognized Veterans Service Organization (VSO).” Then select the appropriate location by State and City or by Zip Code. Step Three: Enter Personal Information Once you have requested a VSO representative, you
can expect to hear back from them within a few days. If you do not hear back within 3 days, you should contact the VSO. The appointed VSO, once he or she agrees to serve as
your representative, can then assist you in completing the
application and gathering documents on your behalf. If you prefer to fill out the online application yourself, you should return to the “Apply Now” area to start a new electronic FDC application. Accept the Terms and Conditions and then click
“Save & Continue” on the Privacy Act statement. You will then be prompted to enter your VA File Number. If you do
not have a VA File Number, select “I do not have a VA File Number.” Your Social Security Number will then serve as your file number. To fix incorrect personal information, click “Edit Personal Information.” Review the information at the “Claim Notification” page,
then check “I understand these Terms and Conditions,”
and click “Save & Continue.” It is important for you to know that once a
claim has been initiated, but not submitted, you have one year to gather the required
documents and information to complete your claim. Starting a claim before you have all your documents
together allows the initiation date to serve as a placeholder. Read the “Informative Material” to understand the requirements
and benefits of the FDC Program and then click “Save & Continue.” Step Four: Supply Service Information Next, you will need to verify your “Service History” and
“Add a New Period of Service” if one is missing. Verified service periods are marked “Verified” and are not editable. Every question should be answered and all applicable
and required information should be inputted on the
“Service Information” and “Military Pay” pages. Then click “Save & Continue.” Step Five: Choose your Type of Claim On the “Disability Records” page, choose your type of claim. Choose an “Original Disability Claim” if this is the very
first claim you’ve ever filed for disability compensation. A “New Disability Claim” means a new claim for a service-
connected disability that has not been filed before. If you choose to claim a new disability, enter your new
disability information. Once you “Save & Continue,”
the added disability will appear in the grid. A “Reopened Disability Claim” indicates the reopening
of a claim already filed that VA could not grant. To file this type of claim, the decision made
by VA must be at least one year old and you must have new and material evidence
not previously considered in your claim. The evidence must be new and must also relate to
the reason why VA previously denied the claim. An “Increased Disability Claim” is a request for an increased
evaluation of a disability that VA has already determined to be
service-related because your condition has gotten worse. Finally, a “Secondary Disability Claim” is a claim for a disability
that developed as a result of, or was worsened by, a disability
which VA has already determined to be service-related. Determine which claim you want to file
and then click “Save & Continue.” Each type of claim requires specific evidence
that must be included when you submit your claim. Make sure you read and fully understand what
documents must be included for your type of claim. Step Six : Enter Treatment Information On the “Confirm Treatment” page, specify whether or not
you have received medical treatment at a VA Medical Center. If “Yes,” you’ll go to the “Medical Treatment Records”
page to provide all the information as directed. Make sure you click “Save & Continue” on each page.
You will then go to the “Direct Deposit” page. It is important to remember: If you request VA assistance in
gathering private medical evidence by completing VA Form 21-4142, Authorization and Consent to Release Information to the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), your claim will not be
processed as an FDC. As a result, it will take more time for VA to process your claim.
To avoid this, you must upload copies of all private treatment
records at the time the claim is submitted. You will learn how to upload records in a moment. As part of the process to gather medical evidence, you
may also choose to submit appropriate Disability Benefits Questionnaires, or DBQs. While not required, DBQs help speed up the FDC
process by providing medical information that is directly
relevant to determining your disability rating. DBQs are downloadable electronic forms that can be
found on the eBenefits homepage or on the VA website. Once completed by a VA clinician or private physician
with an active medical license, DBQs serve as the
equivalent of an examination at a VA facility. Submitting an appropriately completed DBQ along with an
FDC may eliminate the need to attend a VA examination, putting
you in a position to receive a VA benefits decision faster. If you are unable to obtain your Federal records
to support your FDC, then let VA know. Tell VA about any other records you may have with a federal agency, like worker’s compensation (OWCP) or the Public Health Service. Step Seven : Review Special Circumstances Certain circumstances require a
claimant to submit additional information. If any of these special circumstances applies to you and
your claim, you must provide the additional documents
when your claim is submitted. For example, if you are a National Guard or Reserve member,
you must provide any and all Service Treatment and Personnel Records in the custody of your Unit. Failure to provide this information may result in your
claim being excluded from expedited FDC processing. Step Eight: Upload Documents Next, you will need to gather all the relevant private medical treatment records required for your application and scan them into the computer. If possible, collect electronic versions of your medical records and required documents to avoid having to scan your information in. Keep in mind that only the following file types
are acceptable to upload on to eBenefits: JPG, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, TXT, or PDF (unlocked). Make sure you save your document as one
of these types before you upload them. Also note that maximum acceptable file size is 5 MB.
If you need to upload a file that’s larger than 5 MB, split
the file into separate files, then upload all files. If you have any trouble obtaining, scanning, or formatting your documents, make sure you contact your appointed VSO for assistance. Upload these documents with your application. These documents may include any DBQs you submit, treatment notes from private physicians, hospital records, outpatient records, and/or statements from your friends and family supporting your claim. First, select “Add or Remove Files”
to begin uploading your documents. Select the drop-down menu to indicate the document type. Click “Browse” to navigate to the file or image you want to
upload from the personal files stored on your computer. Highlight or click on the file or image and then click “Open.”
When the file name displays, click “Upload.” Upload as many files as you need to,
and see them displayed in the grid. If an upload is unsuccessful, you’ll see an error message. This page displays the documents you’ve successfully uploaded. Click “Save and Continue.” Make sure you review that all necessary documents have
been uploaded to your application. Click “Save and Continue.” The “Error Check” page will display errors
found during the application process. If errors exist, correct the errors and then click
“Recheck” to make sure they’ve been fixed. Step Nine: Perform Final Review and Submit the Application The “Final Validation” page displays all the
information you provided for your final review. If any information is incorrect or missing, you can
navigate back to the appropriate page to correct it. For example, if a Treatment Record is missing, click on the “Treatment Record” tab, update the information, then click “Save & Continue.” At this point, you are encouraged to have your appointed VSO
review your claim to verify that it is complete before you submit it. The final step is to certify that you have enclosed all
the information and evidence to support your claim. You may select “No More Evidence” or
“More Evidence” from the drop-down menu. Your claim can only be processed as an
FDC if you select “No More Evidence.” If you indicate that you have more evidence to submit
after your application has been filed, your claim will
no longer qualify for the FDC Program. Click “Continue.” Then, certify that
all the information is correct and true. Accept the “Terms and Conditions” and
click “Submit.” VA is now reviewing your claim. You will receive a confirmation number and notice at your
eBenefits Message Center and via your email address on
record indicating that your claim was submitted successfully. Here are a few helpful tips and reminders to review
before beginning the electronic FDC process: Work with a VSO throughout the claim filing process to
ensure that your application is complete when it is submitted. Once you begin and save your FDC application on eBenefits and
prior to submitting the claim, you have one year to gather all evidence and upload supporting documents to complete your claim. Make sure your claim package is complete BEFORE you submit
the claim. If your claim is awarded, you may be retroactively paid
back to the date you initiated your claim. Be sure to fill out information completely and submit all
necessary evidence for your claim at the same time. If you submit additional information after your FDC has been
submitted through eBenefits, your claim will be removed from the expedited FDC process and put in the standard claims process. If VA schedules a VA examination for you as part
of your FDC claim, DON’T miss your appointment. If you miss it, and subsequently request that VA reschedule
it, your claim will be removed from the FDC process. As already mentioned, you also have the option to submit
Disability Benefits Questionnaires, or DBQs, along with your claim. DBQs, when filled out appropriately by a VA or private physician
with an active medical license, provide medical information that is directly relevant to determining a disability rating. Including a DBQ with an FDC may eliminate the need for
a VA medical examination, allowing the claim to be processed faster. A complete list of DBQ forms can be found at: http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/dbq_disabilityexams.asp If you cannot obtain your relevant federal records, then tell VA. You can check the status of your claim 24/7 by logging
on to your eBenefits account and clicking “View My Status”
in the top navigation bar. For more information on FDC claims go to http://www.benefits.va.gov/fdc or reach out to your local VSO. Thank you for watching.

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